Concern over Israeli take-over of South African dairy

The human rights and Palestine solidarity organisation, BDS South Africa, have received several reports concerning the intended take-over of Clover from a group of companies led by Israel’s Central Bottling Company (CBC). CBC together with several smaller partners (including the South African firm Brimstone) have formed a company called MilCo which intend to buy out Clover for R4.8 Billion. If the deal proceeds, Israel’s CBC will take control of 59.5% of the South African milk and dairy company (click here).

CBC is complicit in human rights abuses and violations of international law (see below or click here):
 
- CBC, in violation of international law, has operations in Israel’s illegal settlements - both in the occupied Palestinian West Bank and in the occupied Syrian Golan Heights.

- CBC and its subsidiaries own a regional distribution centre in the illegal Israeli Atarot settlement industrial zone, a vineyard near mount Shifon in the occupied Golan Heights and a dairy farm as well as offices in the illegal Israeli settlement of Shadmot Mehola in the Jordan Valley - all in violation of international law.

- In addition, CBC - through its wholly owned Atarot distribution centre, denies the Palestinian franchisee, the National Beverages Company (NBC) - access to East Jerusalem, constituting an unfair captive market for the Israeli distributor.
 
- In 2015 CBC donated over R150 000 to the right wing, racist and facist organization Im Tirtzu, a group that, among others, directly funds campaigns in support of Israeli soldiers and the IDF. During the 2014 Israeli attacks on Gaza, which left 1400 Palestinians dead, Im Tirtzu (together with the son of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu) facilitated supplies to IDF soldiers. They also support IDF reservists and advocate for reserve soldiers to receive preferential grants.
 
- In 2009 CBC hosted a special reception to honour Israeli Brigadier-General, Ben-Eliezer who served as Israeli Defence Minister and in that capacity, presided over the 2002 storming of Jenin, a refugee camp, leaving hundreds of Palestinians dead.

BDS South Africa is currently investigating the matter and will be meeting with our partners as well as with Brimstone Investment Corporation led by Fred Robertson and Mushtaq Brey (Brimstone is the local South African partner to Israel' CBC in this buyout of Clover). If the deal proceeds, we will actively support and join the call for direct-action and a militant but peaceful campaign, including protests and disruptions, against Clover and a boycott of all its products.
 
For info on BDS South Africa refer to http://www.bdssouthafrica.com

Date published: 
Wednesday, 6 February, 2019
Related organisation(s): 
BDS South Africa
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